Dos Santos: Anti-Beat Orquesta rocks the sounds of popular pan-Latin American dance genres—from cumbia to salsa. Their gritty, grassroots approach captures the “golden age” of streamlined tight-knit ensembles that shook sweatbox dance floors with raw and fierce energy throughout Latin America in the 1970s and 80s—honest dance music with no frills and no fear, anchored by piercing guitars, garage organs, and spirited percussion.
Dos Santos Anti-Beat Orquesta will be performing at 3PM on Saturday June 25 under the Baldacchino Tent at Old City Farm & Guild, 925 Rhode Island Ave NW. Curated by Fringe Chief Music Curator Jim Thomson.
Time Is Fire is a music group from Washington DC. The band indirectly originates from the DC punk scene by influence and residence but explodes the signature sound of the nation’s capital with a high-energy mix of Afro-disco, Mid Eastern-psychedelia and spaced-out dub. Produced and recorded by Fugazi/Rites of Spring drummer Brendan Canty, Time is Fire’s debut, self-titled EP transcends mainstream influences and incorporates strong global and experimental-fusion elements into their often psychedelic and funk-inflected music. A static blast of experimental radio from an imaginary country.
The quartet of DIY and DC music veterans, hailing from Alma Tropicalia, Thievery Corporation, Go Go Airheart, GWAR, Bio Ritmo, CSC Funk Band, The Alter Natives and Multiflora Productions, released their 4 song self-titled debut EP on November 20 on Electric Cowbell Records. Their first music video shows the band jamming on a song sung in Farsi, “Fetneh,” while Sufi poet and Iranian daf player Kamyar Arsani sings and dances with a distinctive enormous fez.
La Internacional Sonora Balkanera is a Mexican electronic music, rock, world beat and Balkan beat band that became known in 2011 after playing in big music events such as Glastonbury Festival, Vive Latino and Cumbre Tajín. Their first album was produced by Roberto Mendoza “Panóptica”, one of the founding members of the Nortec Collective, and it won, alongside Paté de Fuá’s third work, the award to best Jazz/Funk/Fusion Album released in 2011 at the Mexican Indie-O Music Awards. La Internacional Sonora Balkanera formed in Mexico City in 2008, alongside the local Balkan beat scene, a movement inspired in the music and aesthetics of Eastern Europe; in the beginning, the band was formed by DJ Sultán, the guitar player Watty, and percussionist Chukupaka, and most of its repertoire were live remixes, with a few original tracks. Eventually a two clarinet players (Enrique Pérez y Pablo Ramírez) joined the band, as well as a second percussion player (Mario Salas) and a VJ (Mi+Mo). Since then they started creating original pieces and created a version of Panóptica’s “Pico Selector”, which woke the Tijuana musician’s interest to produce the band. For their 2012 concert at the Feria Nacional de San Marcos, the band announced the entrance of a new guitar player, Zabad Castro. Since then, the band has performed throughout Mexico, as well as in London, Barcelona, and New York.
La Internacional Sonora Balkanera was signed in 2011 by LOV/RECS, a label directed by the legendary Canadian Hi-NRG artist Pascal Languirand, a.k.a. Trans-X, creator of the 1980s hit Living on Video. In 2013 the band released their second album, “Balkanazo Tropical”, under the Mexican indie label Casete Upload, founded and co-directed by Camilo Lara, creative head behind the Mexican Institute of Sound. This record was once again nominated as best Jazz/Funk/Fusion Album in the 2014 edition of the Mexican Indie-O Music Awards.
The Meridian Brothers performed at Tropicalia in Washington, DC on June 18, 2015. From Washington, DC’s City Paper: “Colombia’s eccentric Meridian Brothers are not actually brothers. The “brothers” are a band, formed in 1998 and led by guitarist and laptop programmer Eblis Álvarez, that mixes unusually syncopated rock, cumbia, jazz, and champeta with 1950s alien movie sound effects, xylophone-like ringing, and eerie clown laughs. On its latest album, Salvadora Robot, the group also incorporates distorted vocals, animal sounds, Zappa-esque humor, and lounge keyboard grooves influenced by quirky Mexican composer Esquivel. Don’t just take my word for it: The band’s own Twitter bio describes its work as tropical collage, hapless salsa, bombastic rock, non-easy listening, eclectic shit, protest noise, and atonal cumbia. Álvarez and company may be out there in space, but they maintain rhythms that keep their sound from descending into total avant-garde chaos. They were joined at Tropicalia by Virginia slowcore band Cigarette, D.C.’s Time is Fire—which melds Sufi poetry with post-punk guitar—and local DJ collective Alumbra DC”
It’s always a special event when Cheick Hamala Diabate walks in the room. Usually he lights up the space with his contagious smile then goes on to meltdown the joint with his infectious music. Cheick Hamala Diabate is a musician and a historian in the West African griot tradition from the Republic of Mali. Born into a griot family in Kita, Mali, he absorbed 800 years of Malian history and from a young age he learned to play the ngoni-a stringed instrument related to the American banjo-for which he is recognized as a world master. Now based in the cultural crossroads of Washington DC, where he teaches and represents West African culture, Cheick Hamala continually pushes beyond the boundaries of tradition-collaborating and experimenting with multigenerational musicians, producers and incorporating electronic technology into his music. He’s hobnobbed with American string and Blues legends—from Bela Fleck to Corey Harris and is not afraid of running his ngoni or American banjo through a wah-wah peddle with some delay effects. His music embraces the panoply of sound he discovered in America, taking him into sonic realms beyond borders.
Check out Cheick Hamala Diabate on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series HERE
Friday January 16
Cheick Hamla Diabateand His Band
followed by Congo Y Castro spinning world dance heat all night
at Tropicalia 2001 14th ST NW Washington, DC 20009
The dynamic showman duo ‘Los Master Plus‘ from Guadalajara, Mexico, return to Washington, DC to perform at Tropicalia with DJ G-Flux and alongside Tropicalia’s Friday night resident DJs Congo Y Castro.The group’s live shows are full of dance and celebration with a very special feel. You can hear cover songs that take the audience by surprise. Versions turned to cumbia of bands such as Kings of Leon, Radiohead, No Doubt and Daft Punk, but completely adapted to the folksy, playful kind of Spanish that represents a big part of Mexican culture. They also play unique interpretations of Spanish speaking bands such as Los Teen Tops, Joan Sebastian, Jeans and Los Huracanes del Norte. Los Master Plus do not limit themselves to cover songs, their self produced tracks such as ‘La Cumbia del Pero’, ‘La Ultima Coca del Desierto’ and ‘Mamarazzi’ are also sang and danced cheerfully by their audience. ‘El Comanche’ and ‘Larry Mon’, the two members of the band, keep the crowd interactively entertained and make every presentation an unforgettable experience, a completely fun show where it’s almost impossible not to dance.
Thanks to GlobalFEST 2015 we are blessed to have a visit from Kahulanui who hail from Hawaii for a big mid-winter thaw out in the nation’s capital! Hawaiian swing like you’ve never heard it at Tropicalia in Washington, DC for an intimate concert with this killer group. There is a new wave coming from Hawaii, a blend of traditional music and the Big Band Swing brought to the Aloha State by U.S. servicemen during World War II. Its leading exponent is Kahulanui, a nine piece band—four horns plus guitar, bass, ukulele, drums and steel—whose energy and dynamic arrangements have caused a sensation throughout the Islands. Kahulanui band leader, Lolena Naipo, Jr. found inspiration from his Grandfather, Robert Kahulanui, who was a member of the Royal Hawaiian Band during an era when horns and drums were a part of Hawaiian music. Should be a great way to thaw out in the middle of a DC winter!
Kahulanui (The Big Dance) is an inspiration passed down three generations from Grandfather Robert Kahulanui Naipo, to Dad Rodgers L.L. Naipo Sr., to Grandson and Kahulanui band leader, Lolena Naipo, Jr. Lolena remembers stories of his Grandfather who was a member of the Royal Hawaiian Band during an era when horns and drums were a part of Hawaiian music. “Throughout Hawai‘i in the 1920s and 1930s, one could find orchestras playing Hawaiian Swing and the house would be jumping. Kahulanui borrowed from these influences and performs classic Hawaiian songs in a syncopated style making Hawaiian Swing vibrant and alive in Hawaii today.
Gamelan is one of the ancient music traditions of the world. In Solo, on the island of Java Indonesia, it’s still a part of everyday life and an important cultural custom. A complex wonder of human invention, it comes from a timeless world of aural tradition, contemplation, and relaxed living. These two films by Matt Dunning capture the essence of the gamelan tradition, in the context of the changing modern world. The Stirring of a Thousand Bells, the main attraction of this film, is a 35 minute sequence of audio/visual beauty centering around Gamelan Sekaten; a rarely witnessed event that is performed once yearly at the Sekaten festival which marks the birthday of the prophet Mohamed. Sekaten is Java’s most cosmic music festival, where the old world and the new are colliding, creating captivating images and sound. This short film blends aspects of the dance and its enchanting melodies with a variety of sublime images from throughout the island of Java, allowing the viewer to experience this magnificent island through eyes and ears. Feel what its like to be lost in a world of history. Filmmaker will discuss the film and answer questions from the audience.
If you enjoy live reggae, if you love live reggae dub mixing, and if you are a fan of science fiction and the likes of Sun Ra, Lee “Scratch” Perry, and Sun Ra then this show is for you! Live reggae and dub showcase featuring current and former members of Steel Pulse, Culture, The Original Wailers, Moja NYA, Midnite and Bambu Station. Dr. Dubenstein is a reggae dub master from another world. A deranged man of science who was rumored to be conducting dub experiments in his laboratory where he would tie up patients and expose them to endless hours of the most insane dub reggae rhythms while depriving them of sleep and food. (it is rumored that not a single patient was able to keep his sanity after those ordeals.) The Doctor was born in 580 A.D. in section C, row 15, seat 23 of the transport vessel Enigma while en route to Klacmata from West Ardevor. He apparently only uses Earth terminology when it is appropriate and will shock you beyond belief with his reggae dub sound.
Thursday December 4 ThePower of theTrinity feat Desi Hyson, Tuff Lion and Dr Dubenstein Doors 8PM
$10 at Tropicalia 2001 14th ST NW Washington, DC 20009
Rolling ten-deep, the globe-trotting riot jazzers Youngblood Brass Band are focused on creating progressive, raw, acoustic, modern, dance-til-you-mean-it music. They will perform at Tropicalia in Washington, DC on Sunday, November 9 with Raya Brass Band.